California is scrambling to cancel a Halloween party at a middle school after a disturbing video showed a student shouting a racial slur.
The California Department of Education (CDE) announced Monday that the school will not be able to host Halloween celebrations, and officials have asked the district to cancel the event.
The school district has been criticized for its handling of the situation and its decision to cancel all of its events.
The district, which includes parts of Santa Monica, Torrance and Long Beach, is located in the San Gabriel Valley, where the district has historically had high levels of violence.
The incident occurred at a school in the neighborhood of La Jolla in Sonoma County.
According to a statement released Monday by the district, the incident happened at 9:00 p.m.
Sunday when two students were heard saying racial slurs in a playground and the incident escalated.
The students then began kicking and punching the others, according to the statement.
At one point, the students were seen kicking the other students in the head, and at one point they were seen throwing a smoke bomb at one of the students.
The video showed one of those students holding a black plastic bag, which he said was filled with pepper spray, according with the statement released by the school district.
A video of the incident was shared by an online student who said he was a student at the school.
The unidentified student said the students yelled, “Black people are stealing your Halloween, white people are killing you,” before a second student appeared in the video with the bag.
The two students allegedly responded to the students yelling, “We will not tolerate that.”
The school also said in a statement Monday that its counselors had been working with the students on Thursday.
“As a result of the recent incident, the school is temporarily suspending all activities that are scheduled for this week,” the statement said.
“This includes the students scheduled for Halloween parties.
The district said it has been in touch with parents of students in both schools and is offering counseling. “
We encourage all students to remain vigilant and cooperate with school officials and district authorities as they investigate this disturbing incident.”
The district said it has been in touch with parents of students in both schools and is offering counseling.
The Department of Justice is investigating the incident and is seeking additional information, the statement added.
The statement from the district said in part: The district has a history of addressing issues relating to racism and discrimination.
We will continue to work with the local authorities to ensure that all students, regardless of their race, experience the safety and support they need to thrive in a multicultural, inclusive community.
The sheriff’s office in Sonora, which is also in Sonoa County, said it was investigating the case and could not comment further.
It is the second time this year a school district in Sonoas area has canceled a Halloween celebration after racially-charged incidents.
Last year, a Santa Ana middle school canceled the Halloween party scheduled for Friday night after a group of white students said they were going to a house party.
In June, a school on the Santa Rosa County campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara canceled Halloween parties after a student allegedly made racially-coded threats to a black student.